Counseling for People of Color After COVID-19

Nov 20, 2023 at 11:54 am by WGNS News

(L to R) Dr. Chandra Story and Carmelita Dotson

MURFREESBORO, TN - The mental health within communities of color are being highlighted in a recently approved grant for two Middle Tennessee State University professors in the College of Behavioral and Health Sciences. Dr. Chandra Story and Dr. Carmelita Dotson began their journey on addressing the after-math of the COVID Pandemic and the mental health impact it has led to in communities of color... That was Dr. Story.


In psychological counseling, the patient often feels more at ease and is able to better tell their story and address any psychological issues they may have, if the patient can relate to the doctor or counselor they meet with... During town hall meetings held in Murfreesboro and Nashville, participants worked together to address issues that minority communities may have faced during and after the COVID Pandemic.

As heard in news around the country, black families had higher levels of comorbidity, mortality and complications in relation to COVID-19, Story said. This was due to a myriad of factors, which could include early misdiagnosis of COVID-19, chronic disease, and living conditions. Counseling is one of many tools used to cope with loss that communities faced during the Pandemic. WGNS asked if psychologists and counselors of color were readily available in our area... The town hall meetings were held on November 14th and 15th.

“Rutherford County and Davidson County were two of the hardest-hit counties other than Shelby County,” Dr. Doston said. “And Murfreesboro is one of the fastest-growing cities in the state. So we’re looking at how to bridge the gap between the counties and share resources with each other and how we can share initiatives.”

The next step in this one-year grant will be to schedule more town hall meetings to further connect people of color with help that better resembles what their communities look like and have experienced.

Grant funding came through the Office of Minority Health at the Tennessee Department of Health. You can hear our entire 10-min. interview HERE


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